MVRDA URGES COMMUNITY TO “TEXT FIRST, TALK SECOND” IN EMERGENCIES

MVRDA URGES COMMUNITY TO “TEXT FIRST, TALK SECOND” IN EMERGENCIES

Three separate events occurred this past Tuesday, August 23, 2011, that reminds us that as a community we need to always be prepared for unexpected emergencies. In northern California a freight train derailed causing the evacuation of 250 homes. In Colorado and Virginia earthquakes caused the disruption of daily activities, impacting major metropolitan centers such as New York City and Washington D.C.

We all know that landlines work exceptionally well; however most of the population is out and about daily and relying on cellular telephones, text, and internet as common modes of communicating with family and friends. So in light of these recent large-scale emergencies, and as we approach the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA) encourages all residents of Dona Ana to prepare an emergency action plan. Your emergency action plan should also include how to communicate with loved ones in an emergency.

Whether a disturbance at school, mall, airport, or a weather event, stay connected with FOUR simple letters… “I M O K”. Texting IMOK takes only a few seconds, is faster than a telephone call, and uses a fraction of the bandwidth on the cellular phone system. By texting, 800 additional people can send out the same message in comparison to just one cell phone call.

Currently in Dona Ana County, 68% of the 9-1-1 telephone calls are made to MVRDA via cellular telephones. In a community-wide emergency texting “IMOK” can help keep the cellular telephone network open to allow vital 9-1-1 telephone calls to make it through to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

MVRDA urges the community to take some time at dinner and discuss this issue with your family. If there was an incident and they needed to know that you are okay, then text… I M O K.

Information on family emergency planning can be obtained by contacting the Dona Ana County/City of Las Cruces Office of Emergency Management.

For additional information on family emergency preparedness contact:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Web: http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/

Dona Ana County/City of Las Cruces Office of Emergency Management
Voice: 575-647-7900, Fax: 575-647-7993, TDD: 575-525-5941
Web: http://www.donaanacounty.org/emergency/

For additional information on the Text First, Talk Second Campaign contact:

Safe America Foundation
Voice: 707-973-7233, Fax: 707-971-9996
Web: http://www.safeamerica.org/

For additional information on MVRDA contact:
Hugo Costa Jr., Director
Voice: 575-647-6801
E-mail: hcosta@mvrda.org Web: www.mvrda.org
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